New planer advice

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I'm giving up on my DeWalt DW733, and want something a little more heavy duty, longer lasting. Not looking for a 20" giganta-planer, but a 13" or 15" belt driven model I'll still be able to get parts for in several years. Any recommendations? I've seen a Delta DC33 on a craigslisting for $500. Not really nearby, but if it's worth it I'll make the drive. What about current Jet JPM-13 or Grizzly G453 or G1037?
Cheers
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If the DeWalt is not HD enough for you I seriously doubt you will consider any of the portables HD either. The stationary planers, 15: range an up typically use the same design year after year. They are thickness planers and don't promise a baby's but finish but do what they are suppose to do. I personally have a Delta X5 series 15" stationary planer.
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Leon wrote:

How do you like that Delta, Leon? Isn't that the one with the top-mounted motor and stationary table? My Dad has the Grizzly version of that planer, and I was considering the same model, but by the time I was ready to buy Grizzly was no longer carrying it. My Dad seems to have a bit of an issue with its dust collection efficiency, but that may not be the fault of the planer.
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Yes it is a top mounted motor model. I am happy with it and have no complaints, yet. I might have a complaint when it is time to sharpen the blades. IIRC the motor will be in the way. I have mine hooked up to a 4", 20' clear flexible hose connected to a 1100 cfm dust collector. Hardly a shaving escapes. Dust collection on this particular planer is superior. the planer actually had a 5" port and I had to adapt it down to 4".
One draw back to the stationary planers is that most if not all have the seriated in feed rollers. If you make a very light pass the planer will not cut deep to remove the imprints and that requires a pit more sanding. The trick is to not take a very light touch the last pass through. Unfortunately the depth gauge is pretty much to tell when you are getting close. I very recently added a Wixey planer depth gauge to the planer so that I can dial in to the nearest .01" and not have to sneak up on the cut.
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So I'm wondering now whether it would be better just to get another consumer-grade planer and toss it in a few years like the DeWalt, and start all over? I have a friend that has an ancient Belsaw stationary planer that he picked up for a song and it produces a glass like finish, so I don't know. Just frustrated at this point and my wife doesn't understand why a $375 planer didn't last forever.

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

If you're going to go that route, you might try searching craigslist or eBay for a used (they're no longer being manufactured) Delta 22-540. This was Delta's entry level planer for quite a few years and are fairly simplistic; 12" width, no dust collection port, and no head lock for snipe control. However, they were all-metal construction and built like a tank, and my understanding is that they last "forever". I had one that was about 10 years old, and I just sold it when I bought the new Grizzly a month or so ago. It was loud and messy and unrefined and it sniped pretty badly sometimes, but it was certainly reliable. If I wasn't strapped for space I probably would have kept it...
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Steve Turner wrote:

I bought the exhaust port addon, which saves lots of cleanup. I also experience snipe, but have had some luck in various magic incantations and movements that reduce it to an acceptable level. I read that the big nut on the blade holder came loose on some units, but mine has been tight every time I've checked.
It it noisy. I SAID IT IS NOISY!
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So I'm wondering now whether it would be better just to get another consumer-grade planer and toss it in a few years like the DeWalt, and start all over? I have a friend that has an ancient Belsaw stationary planer that he picked up for a song and it produces a glass like finish, so I don't know. Just frustrated at this point and my wife doesn't understand why a $375 planer didn't last forever.
Don't be intoxicated by the glass like finish, first time you get a nick in a knife and you are back to sanding. It is a temporary condition basically. A thickness planer is not intended to be a finished product machine, it is a thicknesser.
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Leon,
Is the Delta X5 made in the USA or overseas? I don't have a nearby retailer to, conveniently, go view one. Seems the average price is about $1400.
Thanks. Sonny
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Like about 89% of the big machinery, overseas, IIRC. I got mine for about $1100 3 years ago. IMHO one big advantage that the Delta has is that on mine the mobile base and the fold away anti-pinch roller in feed and out feed extension tables were included.
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Depends on what part of the planer you are talking about.
Less than 5 years ago, everything but the motor was made here.
That has almost certainly changed.
Go here for several excellent views of the machine including cutter shots.
http://www.deltaportercable.com/Products/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID 887
Sonny wrote:

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Well mine is 3 years old. I figured mine was built over there because the paint is not sticking to the iron and most likely because the machine oil was not removed properly.

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You know.. I can't remember exactly when I got mine, but I thought it was along about 2002 but I haven't had any problems other than the cheesy plastic DC connection that keeps breaking at the bolt tabs.
It very clearly says "Made in USA" on the cabinet.
The motor is from somewhere else.
Leon wrote:

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OK you made me get up and look.
I ordered and purchased this planer in Houston Jan 2, 2006.
The Stand, Delta, Jackson, Tennessee, Made in Taiwan The Planer, Delta, Jackson, Tennessee, Made in China The Motor, Delta, Jackson, Tennessee, Made in China
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I think that the one I got was about the time that Delta was closing a number of plants.
The Mississippi plant was where a number of larger machines were built and I think that the last of the Unisaws built in the USA came from there.
A good bit of the stuff is now made in Tennessee at the older Porter Cable plant.
There is a retired Delta guy on this list that surfaces from time to time and he may be able to give us a better place/time line of when things happened.
I have NO idea of current production.
Leon wrote:

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Right. What I was getting at was that the finish rarely, if ever had snipe in it. And if it did, it was because I needed to adjust the tables.

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If you want to go this route, I've had the Delta 22-580 for about 4 years - the only problem I've had is the depth scale is now out of whack. Honestly, beyond the first few times I used the planer, I haven't looked at the scale, so that's not a big issue for me. I've run probably 800 - 1000 feet of ash, along with various other hardwoods through it and sharp blades are the only thing it's ever needed. I'd recommend this planer to anyone looking in the 'better quality consumer' range.
Regarding your stripped out screws... you're not using one of those new cordless impact drivers to assemble/disassemble your planer, are you? I have a buddy that used an 18v Rigid on some of his tools, and he kept stripping out the smaller screws - those drivers can put out a lot of torque!
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Absolutely not. Regular "lifetime warranty" Craftsman screwdrivers.

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Leon wrote:

Yeah, I can see that being an issue. I had to disassemble the topside of my Grizzly G0453 to clean up all that damn shipping grease, and that's when I discovered that access to the knives is a snap.

I don't know if the Grizzly had a 5" dust port, but I think my Dad is also running a 4" line to his 1200cfm collector. As I recall, he said it collects fine when he's planing hardwood, but whenever he runs any kind of pine through it that's when it clogs up inside the dust chute.
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I guess I should have left the "heavy duty" out. What I meant was it should last longer than a few hundred board feet before having to need repair (like mine DW733). "Heavy duty" as in having screws or bolts that don't strip the first time you try to remove them. The dollar is the bottom line anymore though and good nuts, bolts, screws, and bushings are heavy, and cost. Obviously these type planers were not meant to last (or be worked on). What amazes me was that it actually did the job quite well (for the short time it worked).

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